Monday, January 31, 2011
Oh, those Scandinavians! Is there another culture that could bring us a subject like this is such a cool (in both meanings of the world) thoughtful (again, in both meanings of the word) artistic, beautiful, scarifying way? I doubt it. An artist such as Ingmar Bergman could only have hailed from Scandinavia. He was Swedish, and the man -- Michael Madsen -- who made this new and unique documentary INTO ETERNITY is Danish, but I think there's plenty of spillover in terms of content, style, state of mind and even artistic ability.
Countdown to Zero (the threat of nuclear war) and Plastic Planet (the threat to our world from plastic) determined to scare our pants off, Mr. Madsen instead wants us to consider nuclear waste from several angles: the waste itself, the burying of it, what that burying means to the future -- and finally the future itself, and how very far away it is. Thousand of years from now, the waste will still be a danger to the living -- if indeed there are any living left.
Will future generations (hello: future species!) even understand what we have "written" out for them. Would visuals be better than words? And knowing humanity as we should, wouldn't saying "Don't go there" simply ensure that they will? Might no marker be best of all, since the waste will be buried so deep and sealed so tight that, it's unlikely to ever be unearthed.
Kiss Me Deadly!
The movie is best seen, perhaps, as Mr. Madsen's own marker: a filmed letter to those who may be living hundreds, even thousands of years from now and who might need or want a little guidance. I suppose, then, the best question might be: What kind of signifier can we leave that cockroaches will appreciate and understand?
International Film Circuit), the new year's first must-see documentary, opens Wednesday, February 2, in New York City at Film Forum for a two-week run. Click here for further playdates and cities in the U.S. and Canada.